Nobody has a parts bin quite like Porsche. After all, the German firm currently builds 24 different variants of the 911 sports car, each fulfilling a sliver of a sliver of a niche. Actually, make that 25, for Porsche has been rummaging around its parts bin once again. The Porsche 911 S/T aims to take components from the GT3 Touring and GT3 RS, then blend them together to celebrate 60 years of Porsche’s most iconic sports car. Oh, and Porsche also claims it’s “designed for maximum driving enjoyment on winding country roads.” A purported ultimate road-focused 911? Consider my eyebrow fully-cocked.
Under the deck of the 911 S/T sits the 518-horsepower heart of the 911 GT3 RS. This naturally-aspirated screamer spins to 9,000 rpm and comes joined for the first time to a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. No paddles here. That gearbox, by the way, features a unique lightweight clutch and a single-mass flywheel to pull 23 pounds of rotating mass out of the powertrain. As expected, only the rear wheels are driven, exactly the way a focused 911 should be.
Despite looking largely like a GT3 Touring, the 911 S/T doesn’t just get its heart from the hardcore GT3 RS. The front fenders and doors take aerodynamic inspiration from Weissach’s hottest 992 with deep channels to evacuate air from the front arches. The hood, roof, doors, and front fenders are all made from carbon fiber to save weight, and the pathological commitment to weight savings doesn’t end there.
The 911 S/T marries the GT3’s double-wishbone front suspension with an absence of rear-wheel-steering, saving precious kilograms. The wheels are made of magnesium, the battery is a lithium-ion unit, the sound insulation has been carved back, and the glass has been thinned out. The end result is a 911 weighing 88 pounds less than a 911 GT3 Touring with even more power.
However, perhaps the coolest part of the 911 S/T is how it doesn’t feel the need to shout. Despite containing all the ingredients to potentially build the most involving 992 yet, it’s far from a lout. Demure pastels dominate the press photos, the gurney flap on the rear end is tastefully restrained, and mandatory special badging is basically limited to a tiny emblem and a quaint crest on the rear deck.
Should you wish to pump up the visual appeal of your 911 S/T, might I suggest the Heritage Design Package? Sure, the pastel blue paint and white alloy wheels are neat, but the real appeal lies inside, where the interior is draped and fitted in rich cognac-colored leather and special cloth. This treatment really brightens up the cabin, so don’t be surprised if take rates are high.
Of course, high take rates are all relative. Porsche only plans to built 1,963 911 S/T models, a number chosen to commemorate the start of the 911 lineage. It feels a shame to make the ultimate road-focused 992 911 in such small volumes, but considering the immense price tag likely attached to this car, is it really that surprising?
Of course, the whole concept of “maximum driving enjoyment on winding country roads” is itself a curious quest. First, all 911 models are likely to be fun on a winding country road. And, second, with the limits of any new 911 being astronomical, will the 911 S/T really be immense fun without venturing into impound territory? Will the gears be short enough and the chassis light enough and the suspension compliant enough? I guess 1,963 very lucky people will soon find out.
(Photo credits: Porsche)
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